Detainees

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 25th February 1943.

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Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the test which General Giraud is proposing to apply to the release of prisoners in North Africa is willingness on the part of the prisoner to take an active part in the fight against the Germans; and whether he will consider applying a similar test to detainees under 18B?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

As has previously been stated in this House, one of the factors to which I attach importance in deciding whether or not to authorise the release of a person detained under this Regulation is whether the person concerned is genuinely willing to assist in the national war effort. A mere profession of willingness, as experience has shown, is not enough, and in the interests of national security I should not be justified in authorising a person's release merely because he or she asserts willingness to take "an active part in the fight against the Germans."

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I grant that an expression of willingness may not be enough, but if the Home Secretary is satisfied that on release a detainee under 18B would immediately join the Forces or undertake work of national importance, would he consider it from that point of view?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

That certainly is a factor which determines my mind on these matters, but I would not like to say that it should be the sole determining factor.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the repeated allegations that the continued detention of Admiral Sir Barry Domvile is unjust, he will publish in a White Paper the letter from Domvile which was produced at the trial at Bath Assizes on the 4th and 5th July, 1940, of Olive Evelyn Baker, now serving a sentence of five years' penal servitude for action intended to assist the enemy?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

If it were possible to publish the full facts about individuals detained under Regulation 18B, I recognise that this course would have many advantages, but this is not a practicable course, and it would not be right for me to present to the House piecemeal items of information when some selected item is asked for because it is thought to be discreditable or creditable to a particular individual.

Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered a request from British subjects interned in the Isle of Man under Regulation 18B for reconsideration of the allowance of 3s. 6d. per week granted to cooks and camp leaders in view of the length of time during which they have been interned and the fact that some of them have no private means?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The request to which my hon. Friend refers is receiving consideration.